Sergio Garcia, still smarting from falling short at the British Open, will again attempt to break through with his first major, as will Stewart Cink, who suffered his own fall at the U.S. Open in 2001 at Southern Hills. The summer heat will be just as big a foe as Southern Hills, as temperatures will reach triple digits throughout the tournament.
Here's what Garcia, Cink and Jim Furyk had to say before teeing it up at the 2007 PGA Championship.
Q. Everyone is wondering how you have managed to handle the disappointment of Carnoustie?
SERGIO GARCIA: I guess it wasn't easy the first week after, a couple of days after. But, no, you get over it. You know, I just had some fun with my friends and played some different sports and, you know, I managed to get through it. Just tried to get all of the positive things out of it, and there were a lot of positives. I had a lot of nice calls from friends and family and, you know, ready for this week and hoping that I can get myself as good of a chance as I gave myself in Carnoustie.
Q. On the same theme, have you had sleepless nights going over what happened, would you have done anything differently on that last day in the playoff?
SERGIO GARCIA: No -- well, yes. I would have tried to hit that putt on 18 a little bit further out. That's pretty much it.
Q. I'm just wondering if you're staying with the belly putter that you used at Carnoustie; are you still happy with it?
SERGIO GARCIA: Oh, yeah, I'm thrilled. I'm very happy. I've been playing nicely. Even though, you know, there's some rounds where I don't make as many putts as I would like to, but at least the putts I hit are good, solid putts. You know, I'm pretty happy with it; so, yeah, it is in the bag.
Q: Some thoughts, remembrances of 2001 versus what you've seen in the practice rounds here?
STEWART CINK: The golf course itself looks similar to how it did then. It's the kind of a course, you don't have to change a lot of things; the trees are here; the greens have obviously been resurfaced since then, but I don't think there's much change to those.
Q. Do you feel like you've grown a lot in the six years since that experience happened here, and what did it teach you in the long run that maybe has helped you out?
STEWART CINK: Well, a lot of people have -- and I've been very willing to talk about it since it happened, six years down the road now and I'm still talking about it. I don't think it taught me a lesson. I missed the putt on the last hole, that looked like it was meaningless, until Retief missed his putt; then it was very meaningful. I would say it taught me the lesson that it's not over until it's over. But I already knew that lesson. It was not like I was careless on the putt. I just missed it.
If anything I got out of that lesson is I have what it takes to contend in a major at a course like Southern Hills, and I haven't really had a great record in a major since then. But when the time comes and I get close again on a Sunday, I'll know that, hey, I did it once before and I can get there. I can get to the 72nd hole, and all I need to do now is just finish it off.
Q. The first time you walked back up on the green at 18, did you have to fight any flashbacks of that Sunday?
STEWART CINK: No, I didn't have to fight any. I wouldn't fight them. Because I wouldn't call it flashbacks. To me flashback has a negative connotation. It's not like I've shut anything out of my memory. I remember everything.
But the first thing I was noticing was the green and seeing how it changed, because I heard about what they did to it and to see if it's different, and it is. And then other than that, I just kind of prepared for it like it's any other hole, because you gotta play them all.
Q. Some impressions on what you've seen so far and what you're looking for over the next four days.
JIM FURYK: Well, it's obviously a very good traditional, golf course. I think the players have a lot of positive remarks. The fairways are tight, rolling very quickly. The rough doesn't look that penal, from the outside looking in, but the ball always sinks to the bottom as the players have been saying. Extremely tight over there.
The fairways are cut cleaner than I've seen them in the past the fairway bunkers are sticking out more than before. And there's a lot of dogleg-lefts where everything kicks right and vice versa. You have to be able to really work the ball, maneuver it both ways and hit a lot of golf shots around this hole. And I think being relatively conservative off the tee and putting the ball in play is going to be key, because you're not going to score from the rough here.
Q. Update us on your physical condition, and how do you think your game will suit itself on this course at Southern Hills.
JIM FURYK: Physically, actually, I'm in pretty good state right now. I had a really tough go of it last week. I was in a lot of pain and quite stiff. Over the weekend I started trying to hit some balls lightly, mostly short irons and mid-irons on Sunday. When I got here, the travel hurt. Trying to do a little bit more at work as far as hitting longer clubs, trying to play nine holes took its toll, and I was reverting back and I was pretty iffy about my chances.
Last night I went into the trailer and received some treatment. And I had a joint, I guess, in my upper back in my thoracic spine that was really stiff and not really mobile, and it actually was able to be adjusted, where the same gentleman who had been working on me for quite a long time, and I guess everything was just so tight, muscularly locked up in there, wasn't able to.
And I went from being pretty miserable and not really being able to make the movement in the swing that I wanted to, to actually finding a lot of relief. I was one happy person last night when I went to bed because I felt so much better, and woke up this morning less stiff in the morning than I really was at my best yesterday. So my movement is pretty good. I'm happy that -- I'm still not 100 percent, but I'm healthy enough to make the swings that I want to.
Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports.
August 10, 2007
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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